TOKYO – Toshiba’s CEO resigned on Tuesday, but the company said it would stick to its two-part plan, which some foreign shareholders oppose.
Satoshi Tsunakov, a longtime Toshiba CEO who has twice served as CEO, has been replaced in that position by 55-year-old Tara Shimada, who joined Toshiba in 2018 after working in the Japanese division of German Siemens. AG
A bilateral split was announced in February, urging Toshiba to highlight its device business and the rest of the unit to focus on energy and infrastructure. The change is scheduled to take place by March 2024, but has not yet received shareholder approval.
The reshuffle of leadership is meant to lay the groundwork for a split. Toshiba has said Mr. Shimada will run the energy and infrastructure company after the nomination, while another new head, Hiroyuki Sato, will head the device company.
The partition plan met with opposition from foreign shareholders, who also objected to the previous plan to split Toshiba into three parts. One major shareholder, Singapore-based 3D Investment Partners Pte., Has asked Toshiba’s Strategic Review Committee to consider alternatives, including selling the entire company to a private investor.
Mr Shimada reiterated on Tuesday that Toshiba does not currently intend to sell itself to a private investor who would stop listing the company on the stock market.
“We are going to continue the partition plan as planned. For this to happen, we need to build strong trusting relationships with our stakeholders as soon as possible, ”he told a news conference.
Mr Raymond Zage III, head of Toshiba’s nomination committee, said the reshuffle was a response to shareholders who expressed concern about the prospects of restructuring.
The company plans to hold an extraordinary meeting of shareholders on March 24 and hold an optional vote to support the plan.
Toshiba said Tuesday’s appointments were interim. It says the board will oversee the work of new executives and continue to consider external candidates for senior positions. Mr. Tsunakov, the outgoing CEO, will continue to serve as chairman of the board.
Tensions between the company and shareholders have risen after a report released in June 2021 found evidence of extensive cooperation between the company and government officials to silence foreign shareholders ahead of the July 2020 annual shareholders’ meeting. One of the executives wrote an email stating that the group According to the report, the way to deal with these shareholders was to “knock them down”.
Tuesday’s appointment was the fifth since 2015, when Toshiba replaced its CEO.
Write Megumi Fudikawa at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Appeared in the March 1, 2022 print edition as “Toshiba Changes CEO before Partition.”